Los Angeles Lakers Need ‘Point Guard’ Kobe Bryant to Show for NBA Playoffs

It was only fitting that on a night when the Los Angeles Lakers honored Shaquille O'Neal by retiring his No. 34 jersey to the rafters at Staples Center, the team reflected, in some small way, an ethos that made the turn of the 21st century such a success for the Purple and Gold.

That is, Kobe Bryant dishing the ball to his big men.

OK, so maybe racking up 11 assists (as part of a 23-11-11 triple-double, no less) wasn't exactly customary for the Black Mamba back in the day—nor is it so now.

But if the Lakers are going to parlay a massive 101-81 win over the Dallas Mavericks into something more than a late-season smackdown of an old rival, they could certainly use more of Kobe the Point Guard.

At first glance, that may seem like a silly request to make of Bryant.

With all the scoring Kobe does/feels he has to do for this squad, you'd think the guy already has enough on his plate with which to concern himself. And considering that Bryant shares a backcourt with Steve Nash, shouldn't he let another Hall of Famer handle the bulk of the passing and dribbling duties?

Certainly not with Nash sidelined by a hamstring injury. That setback is just the latest in a long line that has derailed his inaugural season since pulling a pseudo-Benedict Arnold on the Phoenix Suns.

Nash missed 24 games between November and December after fracturing a bone in his left leg and often struggled to find any sort of rhythm or flow to his game even after returning—which isn't all that surprising when you consider that:

A) Nash is 39 years old,

B) He's adjusting to a new city and a new franchise after spending the previous eight years in Phoenix, and

C) Not since his first stint with the Suns had Steve been in a situation wherein he wasn't always his team's primary ball-handler.

That's a lot for a routine-oriented guy like Nash to deal with, especia...

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